In an open declaration of war against corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called it a "coming together of the corrupt on one stage". In one of his strongest speeches outside of election campaigns, PM Modi targeted the entire opposition amid 14 parties' move to go to the Supreme Court, alleging misuse of central agencies. "We have a strong foundation of constitutional institutions. That's why to stop India, constitutional institutions are being attacked," PM Modi said at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.
"Agencies are being attacked when they take action, questions are being raised in courts. Some parties have started 'Bhrashtachari Bachao Abhiyan'," he said in a spin on the "Loktantra Bachao Mashal Shanti March" the Congress attempted today. The Prime Minister also backed his party's claims to curbing corruption with data.
"Under PMLA (law against money laundering) during the Congress rule, a total of 5,000 crore was confiscated. But under the BJP, we have confiscated about 10,00,000 crore. Twenty thousand economic offenders who have fled, have been caught by us," he said.
For the "first time in seven decades," such action is being taken against the corrupt, the Prime Minister said. "When we will do so much, then some people will be upset and will be angry but the action against corruption won't be stopped because of their (Opposition) false allegations," he added.
Over the last few years, the opposition has frequently complained about the Central investigative agencies' actions against its leaders. Ahead of the second half of the budget session, they coalesced over the issue.
In their petition to the Supreme Court, the opposition parties have alleged that agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate have only been targeting the political opponents of the BJP. The court will hear the case on April 15.
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